The creative Belgian, who has failed to impress under the tutelage of Jose Mourinho, is likely to make his Bundesliga return in the imminent future, as highlighted by beIN Sports correspondent Tancredi Palmeri:
Chelsea has been confirmed to be contacted by Wolfsburg for the loan of De Bruyne, as from the words of Wolfsburg director himself— Tancredi Palmeri (@tancredipalmeri) January 6, 2014
Wolfsburg-based journalist Philip Harmeling also suggested an announcement could be made at any moment:
It's a matter of time before we can officially announce the loan of Kevin De Bruyne to Wolfsburg with an option to buy.— Philip Harmeling (@PhilipHarmeling) January 6, 2014
Widely regarded as one of the best young talents in the world, De Bruyne's Chelsea career has heavily stuttered this year. Afforded opportunities in the side during the early stages of the season, the 22-year-old was dropped by Mourinho after a poor display in the Capital One Cup win over Swindon on Sept. 24.
Matt Barlow of the Daily Mail reported that De Bruyne was made to train with the Blues' Under-21 squad as a result of this display. The player's attitude has troubled Mourinho, but, as reported by Dominic Fifield of The Guardian, it looked as though De Bruyne's willingness to work hard had mended the pair's relationship in December.
Is it the right time for Kevin De Bruyne to leave Chelsea?
De Bruyne has made just five appearances across all competitions since the Swindon tie, per WhoScored.com, and he fears for his place in Belgium's World Cup squad as he continues to toil on the Chelsea bench, noted Steve Stammers of the Mirror.
Matt Law of The Telegraph suggests Mourinho is holding out for £25 million if a permanent deal is to be completed, but this seems an incredibly hefty price for a player who has a lot of improving to do.
De Bruyne is smart on the ball, possesses excellent vision and is an adept finisher, but his defensive irresponsibility has the capacity to leave his manager frustrated. His arrival at Wolfsburg will strengthen an already-impressive midfield setup that boasts the likes of Luiz Gustavo and Diego.
The former Genk youngster needs to improve on the gritty side of his game if he is to play a significant role for club and country across the coming year, as hinted at in quotes attributed to Mourinho by ESPN FC writer Miguel Delaney:
Mourinho on De Bruyne: "It's the first time he comes to a big club with big competition. Fantastic player with fantastic potential."— Miguel Delaney (@MiguelDelaney) January 3, 2014
While a permanent Stamford Bridge exit appears unlikely for De Bruyne at this point—especially if Mourinho is looking for the aforementioned price of £25 million—the talented player can resurrect his season and hopes of heading to next summer's World Cup in Brazil with a strong showing in Germany.